Druid’s Glen Hotel and Golf Resort has successfully argued at the High Court that it should be allowed to self-insure against guests being injured while attending a dance.

The five-star hotel, in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow, which is operated by the Neville Group, had applied to the District Court for a public dancing licence under the Public Dance Halls Act, 1935. The District Court Judge, who heard the initial application, stated the case on a point of law for clarification to the High Court, on the question as to whether it is legally necessary for an applicant to hold public liability insurance for such events.

The High Court ruled a hotel that self-insures against accident claims is not required to have public liability insurance in place when an application for a licence to permit music and dancing on the premises is made. Mr Justice Conor Dignam found that the District Court, which deals with such applications, has the power either to impose or not a condition that public liability policy be in place once it has heard evidence as to the financial circumstances of the applicant hotel. The Judge said, as a matter of law, the granting of a licence to permit dancing at the premises to the hotel’s operators does not require it to have public liability insurance in place first.

Neville Hotels, which also operates the Royal Marine in Dún Laoghaire, the River Court in Kilkenny and the Tower Hotel in Waterford, said it did not need a public liability policy because it could meet claims for accidents itself. The group, which also has interests in the construction sector, had public liability cover in place up to May 2020 when it decided that, for commercial reasons, it would self-insure the four hotels.


NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff LLP, whose numbers can be found on our website www.nfg.ie, or email info@nfg.ie.